Athletic Director Leonard Trevino Discusses Chatham's Co-ed Decision, New Sports Teams, and Student Leadership

By: Derek Schrank 

Leonard Trevino, Chatham University’s Athletic Director

With barely 900 undergraduate students, Chatham University appears to be just another private liberal arts school. But what might seem a little different from most private liberal arts schools, is the fact that around 280 of these students are NCAA athletes. Approximately 100 of those students alone are involved in brand new athletic teams just introduced this year.
Four years ago, Chatham looked quite different. The campus was the home to few sports teams and a single gender. When the doors opened for education at Chatham, it was an all-female school. As of 2017 it is taking a 180 degree turnaround. With the co-ed movement a couple years ago, Chatham made a dynamic transformation from an all-female university to a co-ed, athlete dominant campus.
Just under two years ago Athletic Director Leonard Trevino sat down with other Chatham administration about incoming sports teams. Now with 18 combined men’s and women’s sports, Chatham added three new teams this year: men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse. Trevino will be the first to tell you he was a main driving force in bringing these teams to Chatham.
“I took this job just under two years ago and we sat down and the board asked me ‘what sports do you think we should have,’ and those three stood out to me. Also adding to our student body and student population these sports add at least a hundred students,” Trevino said.
Anyone who knows anything about recent Pittsburgh history should know that this is a hockey-centered city. Knowing this about the city and Chatham’s connection to Pittsburgh, Trevino had a huge push to bring an NCAA men’s hockey team to the school. It would also put Chatham in prestigious company. The only other school in the area to have NCAA level men’s ice hockey is Robert Morris University, with a Division I program compared to Chatham’s Division III.
“Being one of two schools in the area with NCAA men’s hockey, and the only small campus with men’s and women’s hockey makes us really unique,” Trevino said
Being unique is something Chatham is no stranger to, but while being unique, Trevino and his band of athletes have very traditional expectations. As athletes, they want to work to be better than they were the day before. And more importantly, Trevino wants to see the athletes mature off the playing field, and ultimately leave Chatham as better people.
“We want to see our athletes compete every game, and show an improvement everywhere, both within their athletics and also around campus as students.”
Chatham, pushes for women’s leadership both in the community and around the school. Trevino thinks that athletics help immensely and are a backbone for helping create leaders.
“Even past the women’s sports too, we want to create leaders everywhere,” Trevino said. “Our athletes here are more than just that, they’re students as well. I think the growing of athletics will enhance the overall experience at Chatham.”
Leadership and culture is something all sports teams strive for, whether it be professional, collegiate, or youth.